Akhilesh Yadav criticises BJP over name of Ukraine operation


Akhilesh Yadav, the BJP's top challenger in Uttar Pradesh, on Monday targeted the ruling party over the name of the Ukraine operation that was launched to bring back Indians from the war-hit country, which came under attack from Russia last week. "I don't know which international recognition they boast about. They (the BJP-led central government) failed to evacuate Indians, and named the evacuation op 'Operation Ganga' because (there are) polls in Varanasi too. Had they rescued our people from Ukraine directly, I would've appreciated it," the former UP chief minister said. Thousands of Indians have been brought back to the country since last week on special flights being arranged via the neigbhouring countries of Ukraine - Poland, Slovak Republic, Romania and Hungary. The Ukrainian airspace was closed on February 24 when Russia launched a surprise full-scale invasion in the country.

Varanasi is one of the top consituencies in UP that are voting on Monday in the final phase of the seven-phased elections. Last week, while campaigning in the temple town, the prime minister had slammed the rivals and took a veiled dig at the Samajwadi Party too. “Uttar Pradesh continuously needs leadership which is filled with patriotic spirit, is honest and can toil hard for development. The history of these dynasts (Opposition) is written in black. Their history is of looting the state, freeing terrorists, helping rioters, patronising the mafia and criminals. Such people can do good neither to the country nor UP,” he had said. The ruling party has come under criticism from the opposition even as the operation to bring back Indians stuck in Ukraine was sped up last week as violence escalated.

“There is a war in Ukraine. Thousands of students from India study there. Our youths are stuck there amid bombing. These youths are sending videos of appeals to save them. The Prime Minister’s men say these people (students) went to Ukraine because they did not get admission to medical colleges in India. They (students) failed here and so went there (to Ukraine). Are these not the students from India? Are they not ours? Is it not your (government’s) responsibility to bring them back?” Rahul Gandhi asked in UP last week while refering to a minister's remark. PM Modi on Monday, sources said, spoke to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and thanked him for the support in evacuation.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)